Healthy Snack Ideas at Starbucks

It is that beautiful time of year when the colors on the trees start to change, everyone goes apple picking and the kiddies are sent back to school. We also start to realize that those “extra few pounds” we put on over the summer need to come off! However, did you ever think that your “daily morning coffee”, “cup or tea” or “snack” from Starbucks could actually make a difference in this weight gain? Guess again. You would be shocked at how important the choices you make are when considering your health and waistline.

Most often when I go to Starbucks, I avoid getting a treat/baked good because of the million calories! Instead, I often opt for a white hot chocolate instead and feel really proud of myself (can still get rid of that chocolate craving without eating the giant brownie that I secretly want more than anything in the world). You would be shocked to know that, a white hot chocolate from Starbucks (with which cream and 2% milk) is EQUAL TO EATING 12 FRENCH CRULLERS FROM COUNTRY STYLE!!! …so I could have had that brownie I secretly wanted and it wouldn’t have made a difference anyways!


Yep, a Starbucks “white hot chocolate”, has 490 calories!!!! That is just insane. Now keep in mind, this is including the whipped cream and 2% milk …but who doesn’t get the whip cream on their hot chocolate? ūüėČ

Have no fear though, there is a better option which still includes “chocolate”. The crazy thing about all this, is that a regular “hot chocolat”e from Starbucks has HALF THOSE CALORIES¬†(290 calories total)¬†and only 9g of fat (versus the 19g of fat in the white hot chocolate!!!). Who would have thought?! ..a much more healthy snack idea for your mid-day break or “pick-me-up” on the way home from work.

starbucks healthier choice

So why is the”white hot chocolate” more calories?

Simple. It is more processed. As if Starbucks melted the chocolate and spent hours making it! We have all seen the 100 syrup pumps behind the counter of “artificial flavors/sweeteners”. This is just a guess, but lets face it, to get all their products tasting soo amazing and consistently getting us to come back day after day, they most likely had to add more sugar and artificial flavors.

We wanted to show you how important the choices you make are in your everyday eating. What may be “perceived” as less calories is not always the case. So next time you feel like a hot drink, opt for a “hot chocolate” at Starbucks as a healthier snack idea.

Feel free to leave a comment if you liked this article. I can post more healthier snack/lunch ideas if you are interested.


Starbucks Talks Sustainability

When you go to Starbucks, do you recycle the lid or cup? I didn’t think so.

Despite a somewhat unmatchable brand loyalty in the coffee space, Starbucks still takes heat due to the potential negative environmental impact of its disposable cups.

Starbucks is now rising up and taking action to become more sustainable. Recently, they rolled out plastic cups for cold beverages that are produced with polypropylene cups and lids, and launching new lightweight plastic cups to reduce resin consumption. In addition, Starbucks has a goal of making 100% of its cups reusable or recyclable by 2015.

In an attempt to find a solution to this recycling issue, Starbucks has launched an in-store recycling program at selected stores.While the program has hit some hiccups along the way, the company said it is committed to eventually offering in-store recycling on a wide scale.

Currently, Starbucks is working with ConAgra Foods to make their coffee cups recyclable. What is preventing this from happening is the non-recylcable polymer adhered onto the inside of their cups to prevent leak.

Conagra Foods are different in that they use post-industrial recycled polylactic acid and convert it into shrink film packaging materials (i.e. the inside lining of Starbucks coffee cups).¬†The company’s PLA shrink film contains more than 50% post-industrial recycled material, and it uses this material for tamper-evident seals on some of ConAgra¬†Foods’ table spreads. However, the CEO of Conagra Foods still recognizes the limitation of PLA based bio-plastics and their researchers are working hard to make sure no plastic/contamination occurs within the cups with PLA shrink film adhered to them (i.e. increased thermal stability). Below is a quote that expresses the CEO’s concerns more thoroughly…

“We know there are challenges with PLA and how it can impact the bottle-to-bottle recycling strategy,” she said. “But we have strict restrictions on PLA and we make sure it doesn’t stay with the package because we don’t want potential contamination.”

By collaborating with its suppliers, Conagra has been able to convert 260,000 pounds of resin from non-renewable resources (PVC and PET g) to PLA (plastic derived from starch). It will be exciting to learn more about what Conagra can do for food companies to reduce their environmental waste and make their materials more sustainable.